By Zulkifli Nazim
This is a brief missive to all who proclaim that they are Genuine Leaders of Sri Lanka. As a society, we have all been treated with such huge disrespect by you – our so-called leaders, for way too long. No matter what party you belong to, you continue to lie to us every day.
We know that you will do something or other trying to get us to vote for you – and then not delivering what you promised or arbitrarily changing your mind. You are always conflicted and inconsistent.
You perform a Flip-flopper – you do a U-turn at every opportunity, when something goes against your personal benefits and welfare. You are those who waver on your opinions at the expense of trust and integrity and you cannot make up your mind. Your mind is always vacillating and indecisive – looking for selfish motives and self-aggrandizement, always exaggerating your own importance and power. You resort to everything selfish and disagreeable.
It may be due to hiding some deliberate mistakes you, your family or your staff has made. Or maybe by hiding some scandal you have willingly participated in – and then lying about it. Be it stating one reason for something when the real reason is something completely different. But the lying and deception never stops.
It may also be by your allowing corruption to still exist at all levels of your government, while still doing nothing effective to stamp it out, but, instead, spending millions under the guise of ‘government’ investigations, programs and law enforcement strategies that never seem to ‘get’ the really big sharks who victimizes others by swindling, cheating and threats.
The list of lies you have told us are endless. But what are you covering up and who are you protecting at the expense of your trust and integrity?
We ask that you Stop lying about demands by minorities and Stop lying about policy decisions. Stop lying about history. Stoplying about who really controls consumer prices and environment protection – please stop lying.
You have all seen – and some of you have felt – the roar of the crowd this past three months, when you plunged the country into darkness and chaos, without any rhyme or reason. The people have decided that enough is enough, and you saw them taking to the streets in their hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, proclaiming “We have had enough of this untrue, false and deceitful way of living.” This is their truth. Be it known that it is also yours.
You believe you were either born to do everything and anything, have a right to do anything, or have undemocratically been elected to do whatever you will, with all the powers at your command.
Yes, some of you did storm into power legitimately – or managed to cobble together a minority government to do so – but your behaviour and lack of true and honest action in power has left people turning away from you in droves. Almost as quickly as they voted you in.
Why? Because you’re simply not doing your job: which is serving us and “Governing” for the people who voted you to power.
Sure, during the past three years of having elected a Government of Good Governance – titled “Yahapalana”, we have seen some truths come to light. But not through you or our leadership being openly and totally honest; but rather, it’s been though more brave whistleblowers having to fear for their lives as they speak out against those who are the perpetrators of crime, malpractice, iniquities and a host of other wrong doings.
Yes, it is true that they have been taken to courts and fined – but where did they get the money to pay these fines? And who are they paying these fines to?
Yes, some ‘bad guys’ have been arrested and jailed. And yes, corruption inquiries are underway but at a pace far more slower than the speed of a tortoise, or even slower than a snail’s pace.
Yet we don’t seek revenge. But we would keep on repeating and All we ask of you is to tell us the truth. Every day, from here on, please give us some true and honest answers; answers to questions, as to :
- How are you going to solve the savage killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge and the disappearance of Ekneligoda and a host of other media personnel and the brutal and vicious murder of Wasim Thajudeen!
- How are you going to punish those responsible for the barbaric and savage massacre of the 26 prisoners at the Welikada Prisons!
- How are you going to take to task the fraudsters, criminals and malefactors whom you have kept under your wings and keeping them away from the arms of the law and at the same time honouring them with appointments at higher echelons of the government!
- How are you going to express your harsh and disapproval and punish those who instigated ethnic rioting and genocide and who and who are really responsible for such fear-invoking events!
The list is never-ending. We need answers and we need them quick.
Can you explain as to how the wealthy, representing those engaged in commerce and industry, are largely concentrated in urban areas, while the poorest live on plantations and in rural areas. While the rich live in luxury, many urban poor live in shanty houses with no sanitary facilities. The urban poor in Sri Lanka are found mainly in the capital, Colombo.
Those living on plantations are laborers with no access to land ownership or alternative employment opportunities. They live in sub-standard houses supplied by the owners of plantations. Another group of poor, those who have been displaced by the continuing war in the North and East, living in various refugee camps with no access to any amenity or opportunities.
Meeting basic needs is a struggle to the poor, because average Sri Lankans spend over 40 percent of their income on food alone. Suburban poverty grows unabated, which has led to considerable social unrest; strikes in work places and protest rallies.
Can you please tell us who is really running this country and how you are going to solve these urgent problems the citizens of this country are facing – Why are people really living in abject poverty?
Why are you people running the government more like corporations? Why has so much new technology been stifled, hidden and thwarted, when we are still polluting our atmosphere. Why do you allow individuals and companies to continue to rape, pillage and pollute our environment, felling huge swathes of the priceless forests and trees and denuding our valuable rain forests and yet you claim you want to save us all from climate change and environmental pollution!
Why do epidemics that appear to be man-made still have yet to be tracked to source?
Can you also tell us the truth of why the big pharmaceutical companies say they are helping us to health – yet are profiting enormously from our ills and enriching themselves at the misery of the sick and the down-trodden!
Why are so many good people in our blessed land starving, when the wealthy toss tons and tons of food out every day? Can you also tell us why the big food producers continue to refuse to tell us exactly what’s in their products that continue to cause us ill-health?
Why is there still such inequality on racial, sexual, gender, religious and economic grounds?
And why are you still shoving dangerous chemicals into the water we drink, the contamination in the Agricultural sector in the cultivation of land and breeding of animals and the air we breathe each day – the vital things for life – when you know, deep down inside, that it is killing us?
As I amm sure, you will agree, I have hardly scratched the surface here. I’ll bet you can think of hundreds of examples from 2015 alone where you haven’t told us the truth. But lying and still continue to lie, blatantly, conspicuously and outrageously – Have you people no sense of shame?
Yet, WE are the people YOU serve. And, as many of you tell us, when we vote you in, it’s a privilege and an honour to do so – some food for thought.
So, why, why, why, are you not doing the right thing by all of us? Why are you not telling us the truth?
If you did, do you not realise that we’d instantly have more respect and faith in you and what you do!
Yet, based on the way so many of us are feeling right now, it’s very unlikely that you will be our ‘leaders’ for much longer if you don’t change your ways.
Which is why we trust, dear leaders, that you can see it in your hearts and consciences to tell us the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We expect and deserve no less.
Finally, we want you to Think, Reflect and Ponder on this brilliant quote:
“In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence,
one word of truth – sounds like a pistol shot.” ― Czesław Miłosz